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NCC Harps on Need for Fair, Responsible AI @ World Consumer Rights Day

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As Nigeria marks World Consumer Rights Day, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has highlighted the importance of a fair and ethical Artificial Intelligence (AI) devoid of bias and privacy issues.

Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, stated this at an occasion to commemorate the day at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Friday,

Represented by Engr Abraham Ogbadami, Executive Commissioner (designate) Technical Services, Maida highlighted the significant impact of AI on human lives and stressed the critical need to use it responsibly to uphold consumer trust and prevent potential issues

The NCC boss explained that responsible AI means using it in an ethical way throughout its development, deployment, and usage, including considering issues like bias, privacy, transparency, and accountability.

He said: “According to reports, responsible AI aims to empower consumers, build trust, and minimize negative effects.

“To this effect AI Developers need to be transparent about the data, algorithms, and models used in AI systems. This ensures that decisions made by AI can be explained and mistakes can be fixed to ensure everyone is treated fairly, regardless of their background. This helps prevent biased decisions or discrimination thereby promoting inclusivity and equality.

“Protecting citizens’ privacy is extremely important when using AI. Organizations should handle personal data responsibly, following strict privacy regulations. Respecting privacy builds trust in AI systems.

“Responsible AI requires mechanisms for holding systems accountable and explaining their decisions. Consumers should understand how AI systems work and have a way to address issues or biases.

The EVC noted that developing regulations and policies to govern AI deployment can be complex and as well as playing catch up due to technological advancements.

He said, although most Legislative and governing bodies are looking to regulate AI technology, there has been a continuous struggle to strike the right balance between risk mitigation and stifling innovation, while promoting innovation and ensuring security and trust.

“The Commission in pursuit to join the global community to advance digital services and enhance quality communications infrastructure for the benefit of the citizenry conducted a globally acclaimed most transparent auction for 5G services in Nigeria firstly on December 13th 2021 and secondly on December 5th 2022.

“The first auction saw the emergence of MTN and MAFAB as the successful bidders while Airtel Networks Nigeria emerged as the sole bidder at the second auction.

“Since the emergence of these operators as providers of 5G services in Nigeria, there has been a steady growth in the development and deployment of AI systems and services and the Commission has been constantly ensuring that the growth is the right direction that guarantees value addition to Consumer satisfaction and experience as well as ensuring economic growth. Regulatory Challenges”

“In this era that has seen the rise of AI and IoT cybersecurity, it is important to break silos and foster collaboration of the Quadruple Helix Innovation model consisting of the Academia, the Industry, Government and Society to share ideas. AI developers and Regulators have to ensure AI system algorithms consider ethics and inclusivity.” Maida stated.


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Plane Crash: APRA Commiserates with PR Society, Government and Citizens of Malawi

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African Public Relations Association (APRA) has expressed heartfelt condolences to the Public Relations Society of Malawi (PRSM, an institutional member of APRA), the government and citizens of the Republic of Malawi over the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of the Vice President of Malawi, H.E. Dr. Saulos Chilima, and nine others on June 10, 2024.

In a condolence letter dated June 11, 2024, and addressed to Benson Linje, the President of PRSM, the continental association described the incident as a “huge loss, not only to the people of Malawi but also to the African continent.”

The letter reads: “We write to express our profound shock and sadness at the tragic plane crash that caused the death of H.E. Dr. Saulos Chilima, the Vice President of Malawi, and nine others on Monday, June 10, 2024. On behalf of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), we extend our heartfelt condolences to you, our colleagues in the Public Relations Society of Malawi, and the great people of Malawi”.

The letter also states, “As always and especially this time of national mourning, we stand in solidarity with the people of Malawi. We share in the pain and the grief at tending this huge loss, not only to the people of Malawi but to the African continent.”

“The Council and all members (institutional, corporate and individual) of APRA offer heartfelt sympathies and will continue to remember the great people of Malawi in our entreaties.”

APRA, in the letter, prayed that the cherished memories of the departed would bring strength and that the support of friends, colleagues, compatriots, other pan-Africanists and lovers around the world will help to bring PRSM and the people of Malawi comfort on the tragic incident.

APRA also prayed that the families, friends, and loved ones of the deceased find strength and be comforted over this tragedy.

“Please rest assured that, as we mourn the passing of these distinguished personalities and individuals, we also celebrate their lives and contributions to the Republic of Malawi and our dear continent. May their souls rest in peace,” the letter closes.


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Immigration Service to Unveil User-Friendly eVisa Channel

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Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has unveiled plans, to inaugurate a more accessible e-visa application channel for short visits in line with the Nigeria Visa Policy 2020.

Immigration Service to Unveil User-Friendly eVisa Channel

Te new channel will streamline visa processes, foster foreign direct investments, and boost tourism.

DCI Kenneth Udo, the Service public relations officer, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the plan was announced by Kemi Nandap, comptroller general of NIS, during an address delivered at the graduation ceremony of the 12th Command Course of the Immigration Command and Staff College, in Sokoto.

The CG who was represented by George Didel, assistant comptroller general (ACG), said the new channel was designed to streamline visa processes, foster foreign direct investments (FDIs) and boost tourism.

She said: “We must embrace these reforms and implement effective internal control and monitoring mechanisms.

“This is to track the presence and activities of all foreigners in Nigeria”.

The CG reiterated her commitment towards the full implementation of the e-Border Project.

Nandap said this included installing e-gates at international airports in Lagos and Abuja and integrating the Advance Passenger Information System (API).

She said: “As well as Passenger Name Record (PNR) to enhance border control and clearance systems.

“These centres are expected to significantly improve intelligence sharing and operational coordination to enhance National Security.

Nandap emphasised the need to revitalise NIS’s Divisional Offices and called for improved participation in Security Council Meetings.

She said this would be at the State and Local Government levels, as well as other ad hoc duties, with utmost professionalism and interagency collaboration.

Nandap charged formation heads to work assiduously towards ensuring the success of the automation of Passport application processes, which was intended to reduce human interface, curtail sharp practices, and enhance efficiency.

She said the ongoing rollout of enhanced e-Passports would continue both locally and at the foreign missions until the full transition was achieved.

The CG urged all NIS formations to participate actively in the nationwide sensitisation campaign against irregular migration, especially the Smuggling of Migrants(SOM)

However, she reiterated NIS’s commitment to capacity-building for all Service cadres, stressing the importance of engaging partners and stakeholders in sustaining training and capacity-building programs.

She pledged to improve the welfare of NIS officers through timely promotions, affordable housing, and health care schemes.

Nandap urged the course participants to be agents of transformation and to uphold the highest standards of professionalism.

The highlight of the event was the award of the “Passed Command Course” (PCC), and all participants, while directing staff, received the “Dagger Merit Award (+)”, in recognition of their dedication and hard work.

 


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Layer3 Celebrates Dual Wins @ 2024 Africa’s Beacon of ICT Merit and Leadership Awards

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Layer3, IT solutions provider in Nigeria, proudly announces its triumph at the prestigious Africa’s Beacon of ICT Merit and Leadership Awards 2024.

Layer3 was honored as the “Cloud Provider of the Year” and “Enterprise Solutions Provider of the Year,” recognizing its significant contributions to the advancement of information and communications technology, particularly in the realm of cloud services.

These awards underscore layer3’s unwavering commitment to facilitating digital transformation among Nigerian organizations through the utilization of cutting-edge IT computing services and a steadfast dedication to excellent service.

These accolades highlight Layer3’s profound impact on the industry over the years, fostering growth and development in the technology landscape.

The event which featured keynote speeches and addresses by industry experts focused on AI and its relevance for the future provided a forum where the industry’s top brass was ably represented.

Layer3 was represented for receipt of the awards by Theresa Adeyinka its CSO and David Oyo Ita its Head, Strategy and Business Development.

On behalf of the organization, David Oyo Ita, extended his appreciation to the awards committee for bestowing these esteemed recognitions upon Layer3. He also conveyed heartfelt thanks to the customers who tirelessly supported Layer3 throughout the course of the year.

He also highlighted that the awards were the result of the collective efforts of the entire Layer3 team, who are unwavering in their commitment and dedication to delivering ‘peace of mind to our customers.

“We are incredibly honored to receive these awards, which reflect our commitment to excellence and innovation in the ICT industry,” said David Oyo Ita.

“These recognitions inspire us to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the cloud and enterprise spaces. We are dedicated to helping our clients navigate the digital landscape with confidence and success.”

As Layer3 continues to make significant strides in the industry, these awards serve as a testament to its unwavering commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, and driving digital transformation across Nigeria.

Layer3 remains steadfast in its mission to provide top-notch IT solutions, empowering businesses to thrive in an ever-evolving technological landscape.


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